Texas Tech fires head coach Matt Wells

·3 min read

Texas Tech is moving on from Matt Wells.

Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel reported Monday that Texas Tech has dismissed Wells as its head football coach. Wells was in his third season in Lubbock. Sonny Cumbie, the team's offensive coordinator, will serve as the team's interim head coach for the rest of the season.

The news was first reported by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The Red Raiders went 4-8 in Wells’ first season and 4-6 in 2020. Texas Tech is currently 5-3 (2-3 Big 12) after losing 25-24 to Kansas State over the weekend. In the loss, Texas Tech led 24-10 at halftime before getting shut out in the second half.

Overall, Wells amassed a 13-17 record at Texas Tech with a 7-16 mark in Big 12 play. Before his time at Texas Tech, he spent six seasons at Utah State, his alma mater. At USU, Wells went 44-34, played in five bowl games and had two 10-win seasons.

LAWRENCE, KS - OCTOBER 16: Texas Tech Red Raiders head coach Matt Wells in the third quarter of a Big 12 football game between the Texas Tech Red Raiders and Kansas Jayhawks  on Oct 16, 2021 at Memorial Stadium in Lawrence, KS. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Texas Tech fired head coach Matt Wells eight games into his third season with the program. (Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Wells was brought on ahead of the 2019 season to replace Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired after six seasons and a 35-40 (19-35 Big 12) record. Kingsbury was then hired as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, who are currently 7-0.

Texas Tech has finished with a losing record in six of the last seven seasons. The only winning season during that stretch was a 7-6 campaign under Kingsbury in 2015.

The Red Raiders close out the 2021 season with all four of the Big 12 teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25: at No. 4 Oklahoma, versus No. 22 Iowa State, versus No. 15 Oklahoma State and at No. 16 Baylor.

Potential candidates for Texas Tech job

According to Thamel, two potential candidates for the job are SMU head coach Sonny Dykes and UTSA head coach Jeff Traylor.

Dykes, previously the head coach at Louisiana Tech and California, has SMU undefeated and ranked in the Top 25 so far this season. The Mustangs, currently ranked No. 19, are 29-13 in his four seasons with the program.

Traylor was a longtime high school head coach in Texas who later served as an assistant at Texas, SMU and Arkansas before landing the UTSA job. He's in just his second season in San Antonio and has led the Roadrunners to new heights. UTSA went 7-5 in 2020 and is currently 8-0 and ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history. UTSA is currently No. 24.

In addition to Texas Tech, five other FBS programs currently have head-coaching vacancies: Connecticut, Georgia Southern, LSU, USC and Washington State.